Photo courtesy of traditionalmountaineering.org
Iron Mountain’s panoramic summit is one of the Old Cascades’ most popular hiking goals. Many people hike the trail in the wrong direction missing the best views of the veritable wildflower cornucopia with over 300 species, along with some 17 tree species. With peak wildflower blooms in early July, this will be an adventurous, challenging, and gorgeous day!
Photo courtesy of oregonhiking.com
We will begin at the Cone Peak Trailhead and hike through the alpine meadows on the east side of Tombstone Pass to get the best views of the wildflowers that make this area famous. We will then connect with the Iron Mountain trail and summit Iron Mountain. From the viewing platform that now stands in place of the old fire lookout there are spectacular views of the Three Sisters, Three-Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson await. When visibility is good, one can see other Cascade crest peaks such as Mt. Hood and even Mt. St Helens. Both the North and South Fork Santiam canyons are very visible, as is Browder Ridge to the southeast. Hiking back down to the main trail, we will continue our loop to Santiam Wagon Road and back to our cars. Total mileage is approximately 6.8, with elevations from 4000' to 5455' This hike rated moderate to difficult and is not recommended for beginners.
Photo courtesy of marioberenbergphotography.blogspot.com
Driving Directions: Leaving Best Buy at 8:00 a.m. We will head north on I-5, take the OR 228E (Halsey-Sweet Home Hwy exit) to Sweet Home. From Sweet Home, travel east on Highway 20 (Santiam Hwy) for 36 miles to Tombstone Pass. Watch for the parking area on the right, between milepost 63 and 64. Walk to the end of the parking lot beyond the bathroom to find the trailhead. (Northwest Forest Pass required)
Additional Details: Due to the popularity of this trail, I am limiting participation to twelve people. This is an extremely busy trail; please, no dogs on this trip. There will be other hikes available for that. Thank you.
Depending on the rate of snow melt, there could be patches of snow along our hike.
Bring a packed lunch and about two liters of water for the hike. Please come prepared and pack your basic essentials.
We will stop somewhere for supper on our drive home. Suggestions for restaurants are welcome. We should return to Best Buy around 7:30 p.m.
Contact: Susanna Hamilton[masked]